By Matt Schwab
Special to Mustang Soccer
Chris Rudberg has played and coached a bit for Mustang Soccer, but he wanted to do more.
So, he is doing more. The 33-year-old native of Stockholm, Sweden became the club’s Recreational Plus Director about six months ago.
“I grew up playing soccer and I love soccer, so it’s just another opportunity to get involved in the community and to a degree give back and do something you enjoy doing and something that my kids are involved doing,” says Rudberg, Senior Vice President, Relationship Manager at California Bank of Commerce.
He appreciates how Mustang strikes the right balance and provides a great opportunity for recreational and elite players alike.
“Mustang, one of the best parts about it is, in a way it’s all encompassing,” Rudberg says, “They do a phenomenal job of tailoring soccer to those who are very proficient and skilled and maybe are playing at a higher level and more competitive level, but they also do a phenomenal job for those players and members that are doing it more for the recreational aspect.”
The club’s recent move from the Developmental Academy to the more high-school friendly ECNL on the boys’ side epitomizes Mustang’s player-friendly mindset.
In Recreational Plus at Mustang, which is between the Recreational and Competitive levels, kids get an additional training session once a week with one of the professional Mustang coaches.
“It’s meant to kind of take those kids who are either right on the cusp of playing more competitive soccer or those kids who want a little bit more technical guidance, so we’re really pushing that element of their game,” he says.
Chris and his wife, Courtney, are raising three young children, Mikael, 6, Lucas, 3, and Emma, 8 mos. He has coached Mikael for two years, in the Ponies and Colt divisions. “We’re right in the thick of it,” he says of his bustling young family.
After his family relocated from Sweden when Chris was about 14 (his mom’s side of the family hails from the Bay Area), he began playing in the Mustang Red division and attending nearby Los Cerros Middle School. He also competed on some outstanding Monte Vista High teams coached by Fred Wilson, the current Mustang Executive Director.
“We were relatively good. We ended up making it to the NCS final, so there were a lot of high-caliber guys on those teams, Rudberg recalls.
Rudberg considers his former coach, Wilson, a “great guy” and an invaluable asset to Mustang Soccer.
“Fred’s probably the backbone of (Mustang) when you think about everything that he does and all the hats that he wears,” Rudberg says. “He is diligent and organized and his heart is 100 percent into the game and into the club and making sure everyone in the club is taken care of, from the players to the families to the coaches and everything else.”
Now Rudberg has stepped up to the Board as well.
How Swede it is.